Mission

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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 892: 1,328 bombers and 820 P-51s are dispatched to hit oil, industrial and rail targets in Germany; clouds extend from 1,000 to 15,000 feet (305 to 4,572 m) and over the targets there is 9/10 to 10/10 cloud cover necessitating PFF methods for bombing; 5 B-17s and 2 P-51s are lost:

1. 527 B-17s are sent to hit the oil refinery at Ruhland (214); 138 hit the secondary target, the Bittefeld oil refinery; targets of opportunity are the Vomag munitions factory at Plauen (125), Fulda (19), Cottbus (11) and other (3); H2X radar is used; 4 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 46 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 1 WIA and 35 MIA. Escorting are 252 of 280 P-51s; 1 is lost (pilot MIA).

2. 449 B-17s are dispatched to hit the oil refinery at Bohlen (152) and the oil refinery and power station at Molbis (127); secondary targets are the Zeiss works at Jena (71) and the marshalling yard at Erfurt (51); targets of opportunity are Altenburg (36) and other (3); bombing is by H2X radar; 1 B-17 is lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 15 damaged; 9 airmen are MIA. 266 of 283 P-51s escort; 1 is lost (pilot MIA).

3. 346 B-24s are dispatched to hit the marshalling yard at Munster (170) and the Hanomag tank factory at Hannover (146); 9 other hit Herford, a target of opportunity; Gee-H and H2X are used to bomb; 3 B-24s are damaged. The escort is 122 of 128 P-51s.

4. 6 B-24s fly a screening mission.

5. 79 of 86 P-51s fly a freelance sweep without loss.

6. 28 of 32 P-51s fly a scouting mission without loss.

7. 9 of 11 P-51s escort 2 F-5s and 1 Spitfire on a photo reconnaissance mission over Germany.

Mission 893: 9 B-24s drop leaflets in Germany, the Netherlands and France during the night.

Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History,

Mission Reports

303BG Mission Report - Target: Synthetic Oil Plant at Bohlen, German and Marshalling Yard and Rail Bridge at Erfurt, Germany. Crews Dispatched: 39 (358BS - 13, 359th - 0, 360th - 13, 427th - 13). Length of Mission: 9 hours, 46 minutes. Bomb Load: 18 x 250 lb H.E. M57 & 2 x 100 lb M47 Incendiaries. Bombing Altitudes: 27,000, 26,500, & 27,500 ft. Ammo Fired: 0 rounds.

Major Robert J. Hullar flew a weather B-17 #44-8710 Idle Wheel 427BS. The assigned targets for the 39 dispatched aircraft were: Bohlen, Germany synthetic oil plant (visual, first and H2X , second); Jena, Germany Carl Zeiss works (visual, first and H2X, second); Weimer, Germany marshalling yard (visual) or military objectives (fifth); Erfurt, Germany marshalling yards and rail bridge over road bridge (visual or H2X, sixth.

Thirteen lead Squadron aircraft dropped 237 250-lb. H.E. M57 and 25 100-lb. M47 incendiary bombs on the sixth priority target at Erfurt by H2X. Two bomb runs were made on the second priority target. On the first run, the IP was overshot, and on the second run a fuse burned out on the Mickey equipment. A gas shortage prevented further runs. A good run was made on the sixth priority target with unobserved results.

The high and low Squadrons bombed the second priority target at Bohlen by H2X. Mickey equipment worked well, but results were unobserved. There were 10/10 low clouds over the target with dense, persistent contrails at the bombing altitudes.

There were no enemy aircraft sighted and 266 P-51s provided good support. Flak was moderate and inaccurate at Bohlen and meager and inaccurate at Erfurt. One aircraft received major battle damage and Sgt. Edward G. Eschinger, waist gunner on the Lt. Thomas crew, had frostbite on his ear. Four aircraft landed away from Molesworth.

More info on this mission at the 303BG website

source: 303rd Bomb Group web page http://www.303rdbg.com/
306BG Mission Reportsource: 306th Bombardment Group website www.306bg.org/
34th BG Mission Report - Mission #144 Bitterfeld. Command Pilot: HERSHENOW. 38 planes dispatched. 37 planes dropped 108 tons on the secondary target and 1 plane failed to bomb. 37 Credit Sorties. source: 34th Bomb Group Mission List compiled by Gary L. Ferrell http://valortovictory.tripod.com
351BG Mission Report - 35 aircraft were sent on this mission. source: 351st Bomb Group web page http://www.351st.org/ken.harbour
384BG Mission Report - 384th BG Mission Number 290. Primary Target: Bohlen (Leipzig), Germany

43 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 37. Failed To Return - 1. Scrubbed - 1. Ground Spare, Unused - 4
42-107148 Schauer, William Carl - Failed to Return LSq Flying Spare; filled in as briefed; MIA; left formation over channel; may have Landed away on Continent; flak, ditched Channel; MACR 13114

source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - 1945-03-17 source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info
392nd Bomb Group Mission Reportsource: 392nd Bomb Group web page http://www.b24.net/missions/
398th Bomb Group Mission reportsource: 398th Bomb Group web page http://www.398th.org/
401BG / 613BS Mission Report - Another deep penetration followed on 17th March when the 401st sent 36 aircraft to attack flak installations in the Leipzig area. This was near the primary target for the rest of the Division, the power and oil plant at Molbis. The usual 10/10th's clouds obscured the flak guns and the formation proceeded to bomb by Squadrons by the PFF method.The Hickey Operators reported good bomb runs but no observations of the results were possible. Some meager flak was encountered at the target area but no other opposition was met. All aircraft returned safely to base. The 613th crews on this mission were: 42-102947 Berneburg, 44-6842 Kelso, 42-31983 Cracraft, 43-38758 Shepard, 43-37706 Eglin, 43-38758 Scheller, 43-38862 Carey, 44-6132 Levy, 44-6588 Nielson, 44-8767 McKenny, 43-38160 Jones.source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - 38 crews and a weather ship crew were briefed for this mission at 0400 hrs with the weather ship taking off at 0614 hrs. All other aircraft took off by 0803 hrs except IW-Z, this ship getting airborne about 20 minutes later. The 401st's primary target was the flak gun installations in the Leipzig area protecting the oil installations at Molbis with the secondary target the oil installations themselves. The 10/10th's cloud obscured the gun positions so the Group went on to bomb the oil plants by PFF techniques. There was some meager flak at the target area but there was no dam- age to any 401st ships and all returned safely to Deenethorpe. The 614th Squadron loading list was as follows: 43-38677 Stehman, 43-38646 thompson, 42-97931 Ayre, 42-97602 Lindsay, 42-98322 Holmes, 42-97395 Sorensen, 42-97780 Viehman, 42-102468 Djernes, 42-97551 Jordan, 42-39012 James.source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - The 401st were assigned and attacked the oil refinery at Molbis on this mission. The 36 B-17's of the Group made up the 94th "A" Group, led by Lt. Col. D.E. Silver. Capt. J.W. McGoldrick and Lt. A.D. Aschenbach were the other two Squadron leaders. Briefing for the mission was at 0400 hrs and was attended by 38 operational crews and a weather ship crew. The weather ship was a 614th B-17 coded IW-U and was airborne at 0614 hrs, the rest of the Group getting away by 0824 hrs. There was 10/10th's cloud over the target and the Group, using PFF, bombed by Squadrons with no observable results. Very little flak was seen and none came close enough to do any damage to the 401st aircraft. The loading list was again missing for this mission but two of the 615th crews, those of Capt. J.W. NcGoldrick and Lt. A.D. Aschenbach, led a Squadron each.source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
44BG Mission Report - The 44th dispatched 25 aircraft but three of them went to lead each of the three squadrons of the 491st BG. Capt. Clements led the 491st BG and the Division assisted by Capt. Overstreet, 67th, and Lt. Alley, 66. 67th's Lt. Kleiderer flew the Group deputy lead along with seven 67th aircraft. The Primary was Munster M/Y for both the 44th and the Wing, and was attacked on Gee-H with unobserved results by the lead squadron, while the high right squadron had a Gee-H failure and bombed on the smoke markers of the lead squadron. Flak was moderate and inaccurate; fighter support was very good. All aircraft returned to base safely, none of them having sustained any battle damage. S/Sgt. Chaffin participated and adds: "We carried 44 x 100 lb GPs and results were very good. Again, I could see the bombs bursting Captain Overstreet completed his tour. The 67th Squadron experienced the least expected today when the veteran First Sergeant Robert W. Ryan relinquished the reins of the 1st Sgt.'s job to accept a new job with the Army Education Program. Sgt. Ryan had served in the capacity of 1st Sgt. for almost three years. All who know Sgt. Ryan have found him to be very capable and fair in all of his dealings with his men. So, with Sgt. Ryan goes the best wishes from the Squadron for success in his new undertaking. The Sergeant Major, T Sgt. William R. Duster, assumes the responsibility of the 1st Sgt. Sgt. Duster, long a member of the 67th, has served capably and efficiently in the Orderly Room. To him goes congratulations and the promise of full cooperation.source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
445BG Mission Report - Target: Munster, Germany - Railroad Marshaling Yard. A/C Took Off: 30. A/C Bombed Target: 30. A/C Lost: 0source: 445th Bomb Group http://445bg.org
446th Bomb Group Mission Report
Hannover

19 planes attacked the armament works with unknown results.

source: 446th Bomb Group www.446bg.com
457th Bomb Group Mission Linksource: 457 Bomb Group http://www.457thbombgroup.org
467th Bomb Group Mission reportsource: 467th Bomb Group web page http://www.467bg.com/
486th Bomb Group Flimsy reportsource: 486th Bomb Group web page http://www.486th.org/
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - Primary Target: Bohlen Synthetic Oil Plant. Maj. Close flew as Air Commander with Col. Merlin I. Carter of 1st CBW as his pilot. The synthetic oil plant at Bohlen was attacked by H2X methods with unobserved results. The equipment was working perfectly but considerable crowding by other formations caused difficulty on the bomb run. High cloud forced the formation to fly about 4000 ft. above briefed altitude, the lead squadron bombing from 29,000 ft. No flak was encountered. source: 322rd Bomb Squadron / 91BG Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/
91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report - Target: Bohlen Synthetic oil plant Our squadron flew the low position on a P.F.F. mission to the synthetic oil plant at Bohlen. Moderate and inaccurate flak was encountered at the target.source: 91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/

Non-Combat Accident Reports

Aircraft: B-17G (#43-37937).
Organization: 832BS / 486BG of Sudbury, Suffolk.
Pilot: Vanderhoef, Peter B.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Sudbury, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#44-6614).
Organization: 525BS / 379BG of Kimbolton, Huntingdonshire.
Pilot: Martin, James J Jr.
Notes: crash landing.
Location: West Malling England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24J (#42-110163).
Organization: 753BS / 458BG of Horsham St. Faith, Norfolk.
Pilot: Warrell, Howard T.
Notes: friendly fire [shoot down].
Location: Horsham St. Faith, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D-20NA (#44-63221).
Organization: 362FS / 357FG of Leiston, Suffolk.
Pilot: Dunn, Robert (NMI).
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Leiston, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D15 (#44-15657).
Organization: 374FS / 361FG of Chievres, Belgium.
Pilot: Waldusky, Merne L.
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Chievres, Belgium Belgium.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D20 (#44-63759).
Organization: 27PRS / 7PRG of Denain/Prouvy, France.
Pilot: Nolan, John D.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Denain/Prouvy, France France.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D5NT (#44-11222).
Organization: 368FS / 359FG of East Wretham, Norfolk.
Pilot: Rea, Frank (NMI) Jr.
Notes: crashed belly landing.
Location: East Wretham, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/

Mission Stats (Targets, Aircraft, Casualties, etc.)

Mission "8th AF 892"
Oil, industrial and rail targets
March 17, 1945

Primary source for mission statistics: Mighty Eighth War Diary by Roger A. Freeman
 
Aircraft
Sent
Aircraft
Effective
Bomb TonnageEnemy
Aircraft
X-P-D
Enemy
Aircraft
(on gnd)
X-P-D
USAAF
Aircraft
X-E-D
USAAF
Personnel
KIA-WIA-MIA
Notes
132812813464.20-0-00-0-05-3-641-1-44305BG aircraft crash-lands Poland
398BG aircraft crash-lands Poland
487BG aircraft crash-lands Poland
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Mission Targets

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RUHLAND-SCHWARZHEIDE, GERMANY
Braunkohle-Benzin A.G. Industry
oil refinery214 A/Cphotos (1)
BITTERFELD, GERMANY
Industry
oil refinery138 A/Cphotos (1)
PLAUEN, GERMANY
Vomag Industry
vehicles125 A/C
FULDA, GERMANY
Target of Opportunity
19 A/C
COTTBUS, GERMANY
Focke-Wulf Industry
Aviation11 A/Cphotos (1)
BOHLEN, GERMANY
Braunkohle-Benzin AG (BRABAG) Industry
synthetic oil refinery152 A/Cphotos (2)
MOLBIS, GERMANY
Industry
oil refinery127 A/C
JENA, GERMANY
Zeiss-werk Industry
munitions71 A/C
ERFURT, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard51 A/C
ALTENBERG, GERMANY
Industry
power station36 A/C
MUNSTER, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard170 A/C
HANNOVER, GERMANY
Hanomag Industry
vehicles146 A/C
HERFORD, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard9 A/C

Screen
6 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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1ST AIR DIVISION
303BG
305BG
306BG
351BG
379BG
381BG
384BG
398BG
401BG
457BG
91BG
92BG
2ND AIR DIVISION
44BG
93BG
389BG
392BG
445BG
446BG
448BG
453BG
458BG
466BG
467BG
491BG
3RD AIR DIVISION
94BG
100BG
34BG
385BG
388BG
390BG
447BG
452BG
486BG
487BG
490BG
493BG
95BG
96BG
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
Aircraft Losses

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1ST AIR DIVISION
384BG (1 a/c)
2ND AIR DIVISION
3RD AIR DIVISION
95BG (1 a/c)
388BG (1 a/c)
487BG (1 a/c)
490BG (1 a/c)
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)

Aircraft
Sent
Aircraft
Effective
Bomb TonnageEnemy
Aircraft
X-P-D
Enemy
Aircraft
(on gnd)
X-P-D
USAAF
Aircraft
X-E-D
USAAF
Personnel
KIA-WIA-MIA
Notes
8207560.00-0-00-0-02-1-00-0-278FG crash-lands Poland
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Mission Targets

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Escort
649 A/C

Sweep
79 A/C

Reconnaissance
scout28 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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1ST AIR DIVISION
20FG
352FG
356FG
359FG
364FG
2ND AIR DIVISION
4FG
355FG
361FG
479FG
3RD AIR DIVISION
55FG
78FG
339FG
353FG
357FG
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
Aircraft Losses

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1ST AIR DIVISION
364FG (1 a/c)
2ND AIR DIVISION
3RD AIR DIVISION
353FG (1 a/c)
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)

Aircraft
Sent
Aircraft
Effective
Bomb TonnageEnemy
Aircraft
X-P-D
Enemy
Aircraft
(on gnd)
X-P-D
USAAF
Aircraft
X-E-D
USAAF
Personnel
KIA-WIA-MIA
Notes
58580.00-0-00-0-01-0-00-0-1
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Mission Targets

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GERMANY
Reconnaissance
photo3 A/C

Reconnaissance
monitor2 A/C

Chaff
8 A/C
CONTINENT / UK
Reconnaissance
weather5 A/C
AZORES/ATLANTIC/UK
Reconnaissance
weather1 A/C

Air Sea Rescue
18 A/C

Communications
radio countermeasures14 A/C

Communications
radio-relay3 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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1ST AIR DIVISION
25BG
2ND AIR DIVISION
3RD AIR DIVISION
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
7th Photographic Group (Recon)
5th Emergency Rescue Squadron
36th Bomber Squadron
Aircraft Losses

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1ST AIR DIVISION
25BG (1 a/c)
2ND AIR DIVISION
3RD AIR DIVISION
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)